(Niq’s Birthday Ride)
As unusually the target of this intermediate ride was maybe only 4 or 5 miles away by a direct route, a bit of head scratching was required to stretch the ride out…
After gratefully partaking of home made mince pies, supplied by the easy ride leader, the ride set off on what was, considering the weather so far this December, an unusually chilly morning. A cold fog shrouding the Truro basin added a certain mystic air to the proceedings.
The route was up Lemon Street, down the Old Coach Road, up to Playing Place, jink across the Falmouth Road, straight down Chycowling, through the helpfully still shallow ford,
up Grenna Lane, turn right towards Greensplat, again thoughtfully admiring the neat turf mound and its mock “stone circle” comprising 7 granite gateposts, easily identified by the corroded, but possibly still serviceable, protruding iron hinge butts.
Right again through the top end of Frogpool, straight up to a careful zigzag crossing of the main road at the well known Burncose Nursuries, turning left for the pull up the hill all the way to Four Lanes.
It was here given the lateness of the hour, and the slowness of the ride so far, that the decision was taken not to go all the way into Four Lanes, to turn at the Victoria, but instead to cross the main road, with a right and a left down Copper Lane, once again ploughing up hill towards Piece, emerging triumphantly at the Countryman Inn.
Thence a downhill dash, with a careful sharo right hand turn off the main road, at the bottom, instead of following the chevrons round to the left towards Tesco. This of course is the signposted national cycle route 3, which took the ride off road along parallel to the railway past the eponymous Druids Lane, and down the steep slope towards Brea Village
A swift pull up the small hill and right turn past St Euny Church leads to the left hand fork, more or less exactly at the “Churchtown” sign. This was the section of the NCR that had on previous occasions had been observed to be little more than a steeply sloping mud strewn boulder field in some places. Consequently the putative turn-off was greeted with scepticism by the assembled cohort. However the ride leader knew that on this day, the ride was not to be spoilt by such details, in fact the track from Churchtown had been recently resurfaced to an extremely acceptable smooth finish, although not with tarmac, as one rider found out to her cost, when her rear wheel began to spin furiously on one of the more steep, slightly gravelly up hill sections, leading to some harsh mutterings about the rider leader’s choice of route.
Having rejoined Copper Lane the ride proceeded straight across the Redruth road, once again on NCR 3, which again was not the dubious proposition it had been only a week before, with all the major potholes having been judiciously filled in, and the surface generally manicured to a fine level. The ride proceed past the newly built band practice hall and crossed the main Redruth-Lanner road, heading towards Carharrack at quite a clip, crossing in front of the village store, and turning down past the sadly now defunct, 7 Stars pub, flicking a quick right slightly uphill towards the waste recycling station, before diving back down the road past Mount Wellington, turning left at that well known garage and barbers, before rolling the last few hundred yards to the Bissoe Cafe.
The ride in fact arrived at maybe 20 past the hour. It was difficult to say if this was a fortunate or unfortunate occurrence, as the Bike Chain cafe was, to use some semblance of modern parlance, “rammed”.
Consequently although the easy ride was seated comfortably at a table at the far end of the cafe, the serving area was thronged with cyclists eagerly awaiting the already ordered
delivery of their hit of caffeine and food, which the industrious staff were marshalling with a remarkable degree of speed, and in the case of those terribly trendy frothy coffees,
a great deal of accuracy, as despite the pressure on them, each one arrived decorated with the requisite foamy leaf pattern on its surface.
Fortunately by the time the intermediate group actually made it to the till, the hubbub had more or less abated, and they were able to order and receive their drinks and food with no delay, making off with assorted coffees, oat cakes, some of St Pirans unexpectedly heavy duty sponge cake, and at least one bacon, sausage and egg bap…
Distance 20.2 miles avg 10.9mph max 33.1 mph
After consuming their various victuals, a phalanx of easy and intermediate riders emerged, with the exception of two slightly distracted riders, who it was hoped would eventually find their own way home, and departed in groups, via a variety of routes, at least one of which was rumoured, but not know for definite, to comprise a tour of the following place names:-
Twelve Heads, Chacewater, Blackwater, Two Burrows, Silverwell, Allet and finally back to Truro via the Idless Valley…